Wildcats looking to extend rotation

Arizona will need another player to step up in Brandon Ashley's absence. Read on to see what Sean Miller thinks of the rotation, candidates to get more minutes, and more.

As soon as Brandon Ashley went down with an injury, it seemed that the focus turned to the bench and whether or not Arizona has enough of a rotation to be successful this season.

Arizona coach Sean Miller did not have to think very hard when considering this and believes the Wildcats may be deeper than people think.

"The first thing that is very deceptive about our team is that we have nobody through 21 games that has averaged more than 32 minutes," Miller said.

"You have to take note of that. I think there are 20 players in our conference that have played more than 32 minutes per game. Just for that alone, you know that each of our players are capable and wanting to, willing to play more than 30 or 28 or 32 minutes per game."

That theory lines up with Miller's thought process that the current starters could simply get more minutes each game.

"If we did nothing different other than give the players that have played minus Brandon more of an opportunity, that is part of our solution," Miller said. "With that in mind, we know that foul trouble, fatigue can certainly weight against you, but we don't have to do this for 30 games.

"We have to do this in essence for nine regular season games and then we are in the postseason."

Beyond the starters and Gabe York, there will be a competition for minutes among three players.

"I think the next players in line are Matt Korcheck, because he practices hard every day," Miller said. "He has waited for this opportunity. He is a physical, older player and when he is out there for spot minutes or short term opportunities, physically we don't lose much because he defends, he is physical, he plays hard.

"We don't need him to score as much as just kind of come in and sub for a guy like Kaleb and give him a rest or get us out of foul trouble.

"Then the dual threat of Elliott Pitts, who liked Matt has practiced hard every day and Jordin Mayes, who has played a lot of basketball over his career, maybe not this year. I would look at the combination of Matt with one of those two depending how we look at each game and how practices evolve not only this week, but as we go on."

There have been teams in the past that have been successful with a six-man rotation, but Miller believes it is vital to find a seventh.

"We have to find out just because there are going to be situations that occur," he said. "Fatigue, foul trouble that is going to force your hand even if you didn't want to. Gabe is playing about 18 minutes per game in the Pac-12, but he has been a key contributor since game one.

"Rondae and him alone playing more minutes is part of what we're going to do, but I think we're going to need an extra player to be available and ready to contribute that maybe we didn't need with Brandon healthy. "

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